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Leemore Dafny, Professor of Strategy, Director of Health Enterprise Management and Herman Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Services, welcomes attendees to the 2015 MacEachern Symposium.

2015 MacEachern Symposium

High-priced drugs: Problem or progress?

Highlights of this year’s provocative discussions at the MacEachern Symposium

By Kate Proto

5/19/2015 - If you wanted to buy tickets to a baseball game, as a consumer you would naturally weigh out the difference between the cheap seats and premium seats. But if you were told you had cancer, “are you going to take the 2nd best cancer product? No. These aren't normal consumer decisions to be made,” said Dr. Steve Miller, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at Express Scripts, at the 2015 MacEachern Symposium.

The fact is, setting prices for drugs and medical care is a complex area rife with conflict and opportunity. The topic drew a full house of practitioners, Kellogg alumni, and academics. Participants addressed several controversial questions, such as “who should be responsible for funding medical and pharmaceutical innovations?” and “how and whether all consumers will be able to access such innovations?” A variety of speakers ranging from physicians to policymakers to scholars and corporate leaders explored these issues in depth, offering many possible ways forward.

Professor Amitabh Chandra on the combination of premium support and reference pricing

Pfizer’s Justin McCarthy on how to approach access and pricing in developing countries

Dr. Steve Miller’s recommendations to ensure competition and affordability in drug pricing

Dr. Peter Bach on monetizing health benefits